This afternoon The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Jonathan Easley opened their story "Reid guts Senate gun control bill," with the Nevada Democrat's admission that Sen. Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban has at most 40 votes, while 51 are needed for passage and 60 to end cloture. Democrats, you may recall, control 55 seats in the upper chamber of Congress, including the two held by left-leaning independents. This admission shows just how unwilling red-state Democrats are to sign on to an assault weapons ban, especially one that most certainly go down in flames in the Republican-controlled House.
But in reporting the same development, the AP's Alan Fram waited until the fifth paragraph to get to the cold, hard truth that Senate Democrats are gun-shy on pushing a new weapons ban:
On November 14, the Hill reported that "Senate Democrats, feeling confident from their net gain of two seats in last week’s election, say any deficit-reduction package negotiated in the coming weeks must include stimulus measures." Alexander Bolton's writeup quoted Senator Chuck Schumer publicly asserting that "We have to do something because the economy is not growing fast enough in the first year or two." Although Schumer was referring to 2013 and 2014, the "not growing fast enough" characterization fits the U.S. economy under President Barack Obama's and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's "stimulus"-oriented policies ever since the recession officially ended in June 2009.
The fact that Democrats insist on more so-called "pump-priming" after four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits accompanied by tepid growth, thereby increasing the chances that the deficit streak will hit five years or more, even with tax hikes, while growth remains anemic, is something one might consider to be, well, news. But apparently not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, or the Politico.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday rejected a Republican request to vote on President Obama’s income tax plan amid defections within his caucus on tax policy," Alexander Bolton of The Hill newspaper reported just before 10:30 a.m. today. "Reid appeared exasperated by the Republican request to vote on extending the Bush-era tax rates when Democrats would prefer to focus this week on a small-business tax package estimated to create 1 million jobs," Bolton added.
You may recall that on Monday, President Obama renewed his call to extend the Bush tax cuts for every income bracket except that covering income earners making $250,000/year and more, blasting a "stalemate" in Washington and urging Congress to "come together and get this done" without delay because (emphasis mine):
Between the ongoing Gulf oil spill and the McChrystal row, this story is bound to get put on the back burner, but it still deserves attention by the broadcast and cable news media.
Yesterday I wrote about the Washington Post burying its story on House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer saying that congressional Democrats were not wedded to President Obama's 2008 campaign pledge to not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 per year.
Asked about those remarks at yesterday's White House press briefing, Robert Gibbs said he had not seen the comments and would "be happy to look at and try to get a response after this [briefing]."
Hours later, The Hill newspaper's Alexander Bolton filed a story that noted it's not just Hoyer who's staking out this position: